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Toxic masculinity and mental health in young women : an analysis of 13 Reasons Why Angelique Jenney and Deinera Exner-Cortens

By: Jenney, Angelique.
Contributor(s): Exner-Cortens, Deinera.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookSeries: Affilia.Publisher: Sage, 2018Subject(s): SEXUAL VIOLENCE | ADOLESCENT RELATIONSHIP ABUSE | BULLYING | MASCULINITY | MENTAL HEALTH | RAPE | SOCIAL MEDIA | SUICIDE | TECHNOLOGY | YOUNG PEOPLE | 13 Reasons Why -- Netflix seriesOnline resources: Read abstract | OFLC resources In: Affilia, 2018, 33(3): 410-417Summary: The recent release of the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, which focuses on the suicide of an adolescent girl, has been accompanied by a large amount of social commentary. However, most of this commentary focuses on the suicide itself and does not consider how the series constructs the root causes of suicide. In this brief article, we argue that from a feminist social work perspective, the series highlights a key root cause of mental health problems—sexual violence—and that the discussion of this violence has been woefully absent in the commentary on the series. To support this argument, we highlight relevant examples from the show and discuss three key themes: (1) the overwhelming presence of toxic masculinity, (2) slut-shaming as a form of devaluing the female body and female sexual expression, and (3) the failure of adult systems to adequately respond to youth. We then provide suggestions for adults who work with youth around how to better engage in critical discourse about series content. (Authors' abstract). This analysis relates to Series 1. Series 2 was released in May 2018. Follow the link to advice from the Office of Film and Literature Classification about Series 2. Series 2 has been rated RP18 by the New Zealand OFLC. "The RP label means that the film or DVD can only be watched by someone under the age on the label if they are supervised by a parent or guardian (an adult over 18)." Record #5857
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Affilia, 2018, 33(3): 410-417

The recent release of the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, which focuses on the suicide of an adolescent girl, has been accompanied by a large amount of social commentary. However, most of this commentary focuses on the suicide itself and does not consider how the series constructs the root causes of suicide. In this brief article, we argue that from a feminist social work perspective, the series highlights a key root cause of mental health problems—sexual violence—and that the discussion of this violence has been woefully absent in the commentary on the series. To support this argument, we highlight relevant examples from the show and discuss three key themes: (1) the overwhelming presence of toxic masculinity, (2) slut-shaming as a form of devaluing the female body and female sexual expression, and (3) the failure of adult systems to adequately respond to youth. We then provide suggestions for adults who work with youth around how to better engage in critical discourse about series content. (Authors' abstract).

This analysis relates to Series 1. Series 2 was released in May 2018. Follow the link to advice from the Office of Film and Literature Classification about Series 2. Series 2 has been rated RP18 by the New Zealand OFLC. "The RP label means that the film or DVD can only be watched by someone under the age on the label if they are supervised by a parent or guardian (an adult over 18)." Record #5857